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  MSNBC    Up W Chris Hayes    News/Business. Smart  
   conversation on news of the day. New.  

    March 4, 2012
    8:00 - 9:59am EST  

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good morning from new york. i'm chris hayes. death toll from the tornadoes friday and saturday reached 37 in five states. preliminary counts estimate 74 tornadoes touched down in the midwest oar the two days. mitt romney took 38% of the vote with ron paul at 25%. beating rick santorum by a hair at 24% for second place. we will get to the republican contest in just a moment. right now joining me today we have returning to the program congressman steve cohen, tennessee. michelle bernard, founder, president, and ceo of bernard center for women, politics and public policy. goldie taylor author of "uncivil
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war." john mcwhorter, columbia university professor of linguistic and american studies and contributing editor at "new republic" and theroot.com. we are just a couple of days away from super tuesday with primaries and caulkes in 11 states and 424 delegates at stake. voters in states including ohio, massachusetts, tennessee will choose more delegates than have been awarded so far. i think we are well past the giddy exuberance phase of the early gop primary with a shiny new front-runner each week. we are into the middle stretch. no one is ready to throw in the towel but a field of malaise hangs over the race. rick santorum gets getting by congressional issues. tuesday is a big day. illinois and pennsylvania are
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weeks away and california with 172 delegates don't vote until june. rumsfeld once said about another long, awful engagement one way or another it will be a long, hard slog. i want to read this quote by george will. because i think it -- you can feel a little panic surfacing among conservatives and republican commentators now. panic has to do with the fundamental indecision and -- that's operating, i think, two levels. base clearly cannot get enthusiastic about mitt romney. we have known that a long time but there was a sense republicans had to follow -- bill clinton line that democrats fall in love and republicans are fall in line. traffic tradition has been getting person who is next in line marshalling enthusiasm inform bob dole in 1996. right? john mccain in 2008. that falling line hasn't happen happen happened. there is the fact that even
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according to establishment cannot get itself excited about mitt romney because they don't think he is that great a candidate. i mean, he hasn't shown hill self to be a particularly gifted politician over the course of this and so here is george will. it seems to me waving the white towel. there would come a point when taking stock of reality conservatives turning their energies to a goal much more attainable than and not much less more than electing romney or santorum president. it is the goal of overtaking control of the house and winning control of the senate. basically saying -- you guys, we have screwed this up. michelle, do you agree with that? >> i don't want to say i necessarily agree but i will say if i -- as a member of the voting public, if you are looking at the republican candidates right now you have to be scratching your head and saying, you know, what exactly do we do? i mean, conventional wisdom is that the republican candidates are making things look better and better for barack obama. and i probably would say that conventional wisdom in this case is probably very, very correct.
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that mitt romney is not -- mitt romney is not appealing to the base. i would say, though, something in favor of mitt romney is the fact that we haven't seen race baiting with him and have not seen him engage in any sort of negative rhetoric when it comes to race, ethnicity, religious background. i don't think we are going to see that. >> i think that you are right. except -- but for, i think that -- the way he handled the illegal immigration issue has been quite demagogic. if not specifically in a racial register, some texturally i think obviously the appeal he made on getting -- cracking down on illegals. >> somebody who would prefer to see him as president if he had a choice among the republican -- >> you know, if i -- well, i have to tell you that i am somebody who -- is a die-hard barack obama fan. and if i were a republican i would be voting the rep, i'm an independent if i -- were a republican and i was going to be voting in a republican primary mitt romney would be the person. >> you also -- i mean, you have
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an interesting political trajectory. you have been an independent forum and now have carved out a political identity that's independent of the conservative movement. you were part of the conservative movement before, right? >> yes, yes. >> you have seen things from both sides. >> i have been to both sides, dark side of the republican and democratic party. part of the american public not saying -- on both of your houses, i don't like the -- >> more conventional wisdom. >> i don't like the republican party, conventional wisdom. you have to court me as a voter. you have to -- it is a female thing. court me. explain why i should vote for and you what it is you are going to do for me. >> i want to talk more about that. we are going talk about polarization. something you see every day in your working environment i imagine. i want to play this clip. last night -- mike huckabee had a for oum, presidential forum. one of the things that's so fascinating about the trajectory over the race last three weeks is all of a sudden the economy started to get good or -- at least -- promising signs came in
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quick succession, enough to convince people that we were on a trajectory encouraging, right? even where we are now. the worst is over. we saw the campaign and political conversation in the country turn entirely away from the economy. and it is -- really quite bizarre. we are going talk about that. >> bizarre is a nice way of putting it, chris. >> yeah. right. ghastly, actually. >> yeah. it is -- very scary. >> yes. ghastly, offensive and bizarre. so -- here's the -- mike huckabee has a for sxum what was funny it -- not funny but the setting was a plant closed down in ohio. in some way it is subtext of it was mike huckabee gathering the candidates together and would be like -- yo, idiots, economy. remember? economy? like putting them in the -- the empty factory. and i thought that this moment from a college student asking rick santorum a question perfectly captured the dynamic
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that has been so destructive to the republicans which is this competing to be more conservative, to be more extreme, than your competitor. where rick santorum doubling down to the point people should not go to college. he backed himself in and ideological cul-de-sac. here he is being confronted. >> my question is -- about your comments you said earlier this week. you know, i'm a student in college and your comments about -- you know, obama being a snob for wanting everybody to go to college didn't set well with my campus. i wanted to give you a chance to explain what you meant by that. personally i would like to know. >> we need to encourage different paths that meet the needs of the people individually and -- it is -- this attitude that we -- that government knows best for everybody and we are going to set this template which was what i was -- elitist type of behavior. >> michelle? >> i'm appalled at it. particularly coming from someone
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who has given us the impression he's speaking for the underclass, he is speaking for people who want to reach the american dream, for people that want to be horacio alger. anyone will tell you that if you want a shot at the american dream, if you want to be able to be prepared for the 21st century work force, what parent doesn't want their child to go to college? it is ridiculous. >> no. >> santorum has an undergrad degree, mba, home schooling his children. >> i wish he hadn't put these things the way he did. i think santorum and obama this week came to an agreement the idea is maybe go to four years of college but maybe to have some sort of probably two-year or one-year vocational education in a community college. the idea of being not to teach people only way to being middle class and having the american dream is go to college for four yea years. >> i don't think they dime an
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agreement at all. i think president obama said from the outset college should be an opportunity, military training, an opportunity, people should have access to a full menu of opportunities including a four-year college. i think santorum came back, took that out of context and pulled something from it and just stored it and destroyed it. >> let the record reflect -- you can take that as you will. >> i am very interested in somebody learning somebody making something with their hands. they will make more money than i do. >> military was my choice. i mean, i did not have access coming out of high school to a four-year institution. many of the kids in our family did not. i went to the marine corps which in turn contributed to my college education. i think that these -- the access of the -- avenue of that is the american dream. and any conservative who denies that ought to be questioned. >> when i thought was interest -- what i thought was
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interesting is it raised the issue about higher education and, you know, one of the most interesting things about the way higher education has gone in this country, a huge spike in college -- we know good the g.i. bill. since then the amount of four-year graduate -- graduates from four-year institution, the number of people attending college keeps going up. the wedge continues to grow to those who finish. more input into the college system but not getting any more output. if you view tonight that respect there is something that isn't working. right? >> there's problem was that and kids go and they don't -- necessarily graduate in four years or graduate at all. that's where we are losing to the chinese and everywhere else. we need more people and more engineers and more people in the stem programs. unless we do that we will not catch up and -- with our trade and with our production and -- >> signs, technology, engineering, math, something the president put a tremendous amount of emphasis on.
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rick santorum looks like he was sort of cruising in front-runner stat us and lost to michigan. he's -- setting up for tuesday and we want to know -- this is such basic question. who is winning the gop race? what -- >> barack obama. >> i mean, even a primary -- even within the primary system, with the rules of the game and 1,144 delegates that must be attained, it is like sitting in a stadium where the scoreboard is blocked out. we are going to talk about what the actual score on the republican primary race is. nobody actually knows. that's next. [ male announcer ] this is lawn ranger -- eden prairie, minnesota.
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most of us thought the winner of the republican primary race was a foregone conclusion at this point. we thought we could depend on fund-raising totals and polls to tell tuesday core. it looks like it could be 2008
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all over again when we all started counting delegates painstakingly state by state until challenger barack obama overwhelmed presumed establishment front-runner hillary clinton. it is like you are watching a baseball game where both teams are scoring runs and when you look up at the scoreboard in the seventh inning it is blacked out because no one can agree on who has what delegates. the rules are opaque, to say the least. rick santorum was irritated when the michigan republican party voted to break a delegate tie wednesday. >> i just think that you are seeing what the romney campaign is all about. anything to win after the fact, break the rules, rewrite the rules, that's not the way republicans and conservatives do it. he is new to the conservative cause. i'm not surprised he doesn't know. >> ouch. we have been talking about a -- about this fact that we, you know, it is very hard to get consensus. i can't trust our own numbers because the person that does it
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here has been doing this forever and is an incredible guru, i had a conversation with him yesterday. he knows every granular fact about which delegate got awarded. but we were talking about the delegate roles. that's so boring. i don't know to listen about delegate map. when you dive into it, what the rules are, primary process are, this fascinating contested site of a battle between two sort of forces. it used to be the party establishment just chose the nominee. chose essentially literally right behind closed doors and small filters. then the modern primary system came about and in the 1960s and -- that power sort of devolved down out into actual voters and party activism and donors and then there was concern, particularly the '60s and '7 ons, democratic side, too much control had gone out that way. right? mcgovern had been nominated and everybody freaked out. so there was this wrenching back. the rules that get written to -- kind of guide them t nomination process end up being a way to
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essentially adjudicate this battle between the sort of party establishment and grass roots and we are seeing a kind of stalemate, i think, right now being drawn between those two forces. congressman cohen, you lived through 2008. right? >> i'm here. >> you managed to survive. that must have been difficult because -- remember, we had the whole super delegate question. super delegates, you are a super delegate because you are a member of congress. >> super delegate. >> you left your cape in the greenroom. the idea was to create this sort of check. right? on the party's base. there would be these sort of -- >> people with knowledge of the political process of what you need to win. idea winning would be the ultimate goal. the activists are all concerned about issues which is important and their own issues and it can be diverse, social issues to economic issues or whatever. but the -- the senior policy people are supposed to look at what makes sense, how can we
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win? the activists sometimes lose sight of that. it is a good -- mixing of the sides of politics and -- kind of like your software and hardware. >> congressman cohen, what did you say that really -- we are just seeing how the sausage gets made and so in the grand old days you would have had partisan people. people you see, smoeshg-filled room and got shot down. a republican would be somebody who today we think of as progressive. now with technology and other developments, we get to see the people who are on the sides making a lot of noise, being less reflective, and eventually what happens is the democrats turn to somebody like clinton, republicans are now at a point they are going to have to start making that kind of decision. do the crazies and the anti-intellectuals and media debaters have anything that we could think of right now as some sort of long-term threatening impact? is it really that they will be shouted down and republicans will come to their senses. you are on the ground. what do you think about the true danger of these people?
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>> there is a danger to the republican party because they felt so far right that they are not in realistically looking at winning. you know. who will be the nominee? i don't know. but i can tell you rick santorum will not be president. ron paul, delightful gentleman, is not going to be president. and -- mitt romney shot going to be president. but he may be the republican nominee. and what they are doing is fighting to win the no, ma'am inauguration and the seniors are -- ultimate goal is not to win the nomination but to win the white house. right now they -- >> let me push back on -- just the notion the crazies. you know, the people that supported howard dean were -- in 2004 were the crazies. right? they were supporting him because the war was completely horrendous bankrupt enterprise, entire democratic establishment gone along with. also, achilles' heel of john kerry was the quote, i voted for it before i voted against it. i am not even sure -- i'm saying this now as analytical argument
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on the left. i'm not sure the party establishment is not any more trustworthy. >> i think that the -- on to the mayflower. they have to shift because they were the crazies. because they wanted a voice in how they were going to be governed. what we are seeing now is that, you know, infused with technology, social network, twitter, youtube. any way that consumers are getting engaged and change this process. i think that is for the good. any time you have them in the back making the decision and coming out with a nominee, that's a really bad thing. they are no more thoughtful than the rest of us let's ask an actual gatekeeper. michael steele joins us from washington as chairman of the republican national committee, he oversaw the changes and the rules of this year's delegation. >> call me crazy. how are you doing? >> i would never call you crazy. >> crazy like a fox, crazy like a fox. >> that's -- that's -- you can now make the case. have you the opportunity to make that case. here's what i would like you to describe to us. there were rule changes that
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were created in november, 2008. >> my understanding was that there was a feeling that -- on the republican side that john mccain sewed up the nomination too quickly. and actually the long contested primary on the democratic side which at the time everyone was worried about was actually the party's benefit and rules were changed with an eye towards moving the contest in that direction. is that the case? >> you just summed it up perfectly. exactly the analysis that came out of the 2008 primary. by this time in 2008, our nominee was decided and it was john mccain and for the next six, seven months, he was virtually ignored by the press. there was -- virtually no news out of the campaign. the focus, the energy, emphasis, was on the democratic side and hotly contested race. and so we have -- saw the split screen, if you will, where there was activism, base of coming together, you know, rallying around one or both of the candidates and in some form. and on the other side, folks would -- okay.
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well, when is the convention? when they got to -- to minnesota, they decided that they wanted in between the 2008 and 2012 convention for the next chairman to take a look at the process and to see how we can improve upon it and what we came up with was a system in which we would elongate this a bit to allow the underdogs the -- the grassroots activists, candidate who doesn't have all the money, who doesn't have the infrastructure necessarily, but may have the message to rise up through this process and if that message resonates. it made -- sort of leveled the playing field a little bit, frustrates the heck out of the establishment types, particular there romney crew, who are now complaining about this is too long and -- chris christie comments saying -- whoever thought of this was silly. yeah. silly because your guy is not getting nomination in february. >> nobody likes the rules when they are lose. >> exactly. >> i want you to actually walk us through what those concrete
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more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. show the yard who's boss, with this cordless black and decker trimmer, just $84.97. we have michael steele here the man that oversaw the rule writing process that gave us today's republican primary race. you can send your thank you notes to him. has -- i guess the question is -- there are a few things that the rules did. one was they created this april date before which we are going to be -- you had to be proporti proportional. if you are going to be before that, they try to stretch out the calendar and stop all the states from crowding into the early phases. lot of the states went ahead and florida did it anyway and got penalized half their delegates. has -- has the system worked as you intended in terms of the rule changes? >> yeah. i think it has. except for the little florida hiccup and a few others that have jumped the gun.
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we -- two rules operational here. rule 16, penalty rule that says if you break a rule you lose half your delegates. so florida in breaking the rules by jumping before april 1 lost half of its delegates. rule 15, the operational ruling with respect to the allocation of the delegates, says whatever number delegates you have, whether you have 100 or you lose half of them, have you 50, those delegates, if you go before april 1 will be applied proportionally. so -- this tuesday, everyone is talking about super tuesday and what a grand opportunity it will be for mitt romney to sew it up, not so much. because all of those delegates, except for two states, are going to be awarded proportionally. vermont and virginia are winner take all which will be an advantage for romney, particularly virginia with 46 delegates, and -- while the other would aren't contesting, he will have a chance to whip up 46 delegates presumably if he wins. but the rest of the states on tuesday will be proportional which means everyone has a chance to continue to play. which is the whole point.
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>> well, i'm glad you pointed out this -- got into the weeds a little bit. believe me, we have -- would hours to talk about rule 15 and rule 16. they are on the edge of their seats at home. what you said points out this very important distinction between we could look at what the vote tallies are, right? let's say mitt romney ekes out a disappointing victory over ron paul in virginia by a thousand votes. okay. he is still going to bank 45 delegates. and -- if -- if rick santorum even wins in ohio, right, but he wins by an -- he may not bank any delegates. there is a gap between what the actual vote totals are in the delegates and here is ron paul's chief delegate counter, doug weed, talking to my colleague, raich ed m ever rachel maddow. >> i see them say romney has this many delegates and santorum this many delegates.
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not a single delegate has been awarded from iowa or minnesota or missouri or colorado or nevada. we are tracking this at the precinct level and we think we have the majority of them and we think we won in iowa and won in minnesota and won in colorado. and with missouri's yet to be seen. we think we probably won in nevada because we are counting the precinct votes. >> the point here being that the states that have -- awarded delegates for caucuses, in most cases those delegates haven't been awarded yet. >> that's right. >> there is a variety of processes and levels of caucusing that have to happen before they are awarded which means committed activist could come away with more delegates than it looked like they had when we came out of the vote. >> that's absolutely right. that's -- the sort of -- quirkiness of a caucus is that a lot of people, you know, particularly the media gets hyped up about iowa on -- caucus night but those -- that's just a
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beauty contest effectively. it is just sort of okay, check the pulse of folks and how they feel. those delegates won't be awarded until they go to their convention this spring. they have their primary after the fact. >> yeah. >> congressman, it is hard to call iowa a beauty contest. >> point taken. >> i have a question for you. isn't it really -- i mean, if you -- seems to me that this really all boils down to delegates but there is a question of perception as well. if you go back to 2008, for example, look at ohio and look at georgia in the democratic primary contest hillary rodham clinton received more of the popular vote than barack obama did but he got more delegates than she did. >> happened in a number of places. >> there was a lot of excitement. i, frankly, like this process because we can -- you know, who would have thought that we would have gone from the economy, for example, to talking about aspirin between the knees. >> but -- >> my question to you really
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is -- >> michael stek michael steele aspirin between the knees? >> my question is how do we square forward, how do we square this notion of the delegate count versus the important -- importance of perception and who has the momentum? for so many talk that former governor mitt romney has so much momentum because he won the washington caucuses over the weekend and that will happen -- help him in ohio. does it make a difference at all? >> well, you know, it does to a certain degree. but the problem that romney has, he won washington with 38%. so -- you know, it -- then you go to michigan and but for the interesting tinkering of after the fact, very much like we saw in iowa, of -- with the delegates, that was a split decision. so that was a good example of romney winning the popular vote but the -- the delegates were awarded on a congressional
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district basis which meant that, you know, santorum won more congressional districts. the reality of it is that, you know, this process will lend itself to people sort of second-guessing it and looking at it but i think the congressman's point and point that was -- mr. weed's point when you get to the actual allegation of delegates which won't happen until you get to the convention you will get a better sense of where they are. you have caucuses that will be running and not have primaries until late spring, early summer. so this notion of who has the -- number, unless you have a runaway train in terms of someone taking all the numbers, this is going to stay close for quite some time. >> chairman steele, the question that we talked about getting other voices out there, one of those phrases that has a certain ring to it, so other people have more of chance to put themselves into the forum, what have you seen to be the actual impact of that at this tuck point? we have the other voices, we certainly have a more
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entertaining news cycle. in terms of who ends up running the country or coming close, have we seen results of that yet? do you expect we will? maybe there hasn't been enough time. >> i think you have seen some. really what we were looking at was -- the idea of -- i think someone referenced earlier about how this all ploed back to the people. back to the -- the base of the party, the activists and men and women who are -- who are the hard chargers and get out there and they get the vote for you and they work. a lot of those folks what we heard in the past have been felt -- felt like they were sidelined. they were not part of this. somehow the nominee was decided by iowa, new hampshire, south carolina, and in the month of january. the rest of us, the other 47 states sat there and waited for something. they didn't know what. >> this is all about democracy. >> i right. this gives everybody -- base a chance, really, the chance to really be involved in this process. they have to. >> michael steele, msnbc political analyst and former chairman of the republican
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national committee giving us a crash course in the rules of the republican nominating process. seriously, thank you so much. really appreciate. >> it my pleasure. >> moderate republicans edge closer to extinction. announcement olympia snowe will not run for re-election. mid grade dark roast forest fresh full tank brain freeze cake donettes rolling hot dogs bag of ice anti-freeze wash and dry diesel self-serve fix a flat jumper cables 5% cashback right now, get 5% cashback at gas stations. it pays to discover. cleaning better doesn't have to take longer. i'm done. i'm gonna...use these. ♪ give me just a little more time ♪ [ female announcer ] unlike mops, swiffer can maneuver into tight spaces without the hassle and its wet mopping cloths can clean better in half the time, so you don't ss a thing. mom? ahhhh! ahhhh! no it's mommy! [ female announcer ] swiffer. better clean in half the time. or your money back.
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pavrmgts week was not a good week for the nearly extinct so-called moderate republican. first there was republican senator scott brown running for re-election in massachusetts. co-sponsoring the blunt amendment, allowing insurance based on their own moral beliefs. susan collins of maine, often called moderate, voted in favor of the amendment. collins' fellow olympia snowe did so a aafter announces she would not seek another term. atmosphere of polarization as one of the reasons. if you needed any more evidence
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what senator snowe was referring to rush limbaugh's attack on sandra fluke and members of the political party for what he had to say. >> what does it say about the college co-ed, susan fluke, who goes before congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? what does had a make her? it makes her a slut, right? makes her a prostitute. >> i still can't get over that. you may say limbaugh is in the business of outrage generation and you would be right. this is a par for the course. he's also a very, very powerful ideological enforcer on the right. there is a connection between the polarization that olympia snowe talked about in that quote, trends in voting among the republican members and in that clip you saw from rush limbaugh. someone that's almost never crossed. you hold the republican
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presidential candidates bold, unflinching outrage in response to a radio host with vast power and millions of listeners calling a third year law student a slut. >> not the language i would have used. i'm focusing on the issues i think are significant in the country today. >> being absurd. that's -- you know, entertainer can be absurd. >> yesterday after a number of high-profile sponsors announced they were dropping limbaugh, limbaugh issued what he is calling an apology. for over 20 years illustrated the absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week, i chose the wrong words in my anal zwroy the situation. i did not mean a personal attack. my choice of words is not the best in an attempt to be humorous i created a national stir. i apologize to miss fluke. best thing about that statement is -- a hybrid of what santorum and romney said. romney said i would have chose different words. santorum said he is being absurd. he stitched them together into a statement. >> i think what he's most -- you know, apologetic about is he did
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not invest 395 in a thesaurus to buy synonyms for words. rush limbaugh talking to his audience and advertisers and talking to the people who syndicate his program. those are the only people that rush limbaugh truly cares about. so that gives him license to say things like this about third-year college loans. >> limbaugh, to me is what he is. >> what is he? >> is he one of those things he called his woman? >> i mean -- >> he is because he sells out for ratings. he will say anything, including saying that awful -- awful things about that woman that were just -- for ratings. that makes him somebody that will do something for money. >> first of all, i-want to say as a brad watt of georgetown law school, myself, i am very proud of this law student and the roy that she has handled it. ignoring -- aside from what rush
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limbaugh says what does it say about the republican candidate field quite frankly -- you know, conventional wisdom as we shouldn't care what rush limbaugh or anyone else says. but he has 20 million voters. he has 20 million listeners to his radio program. this is a question of moral character and question about what male candidates think about 50% of the population of the united states. why not say something like is inappropriate to call anyone slut. >> i watched this happen. i have been watching this happening. fascinating because -- there was this slate -- issue, right, which had to do with the way the affordable care act under regulations promulgated would interpret the statutory mandate to provide preventative care under the free of charge. that's where this started. and they interpreted that birth control counted as preventative care along with a lot of other things like mammograms and things like that. what happened is they -- republicans pick ad fight over this thinking this was a fight
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about religious people and keep saying we are not -- why is this about birth control? and people keep cropping up from foster -- to rush limbaugh to confirm all of the worst fears. >> absolutely confirmed it but this really, for me, is not about them as candidates. this is about them as fathers. and how they would allow someone to talk about their own daughters, their own sisters, their own wives and significant others. i think that's the real issue. issue here is integrity. when you are running for the white house or any other office in this land i think that counts above everything else and it matters about, you know, what decision you make on health care, what decision you will make -- i respect differing policy decisions. but come to it from a position of integrity and these two candidates show this week that they have none. >> can i add one thing? it is a small point but for people who are interested in women's health, do you know how many millions of women use birth control pills, for example, for something that has nothing to do with contraception? you know, if you are going to be knowledgeable about the health care system and we care about
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the health care of all americans and women's health matters, this argument in and of itself makes -- has to make you very weary of the people running for office. >> we should note that the reasons under fluke isn't the center of this. she was a georgetown law student and going to testify at a house committee hearing about her -- friend of hers at georgetown, jesuit institution, does not cover it with zero co-pay. the friend she was going to tell the story about is gay a gay woman. is not using birth control for the reasons that someone else might use birth control but using it precisely for the health reasons you -- >> ovarian cyst. >> grand question here is this, though. yellow journalism is an old story. there were rush limbaughs in the '30s and '40s. now we are condemning him, as we should is the job done? are we hope there will not continue to be people like him who go for the jugular? i think we are going to keep seeing him advance is that we condemn yellow journalism in a way it was not before. maybe rush limbaugh is the best we can do in that there will
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always be people saying terrible things like that. >> but the question is will rush limbaugh have the last laugh in staying to the air and that's a big question. also, be able to continue to direct the direction of republican party by endorsing primary insurgents against incumbents like our next guest who is going to join news the second mike castle who was defeated by christine o'donnell famousfully 2010. we are going to ask him about the state of the republican party and come back after this. [ male announcer ] this is lawn ranger -- eden prairie, minnesota. in here, the landscaping business grows with snow. to keep big winter jobs on track, at&t provided a mobile solution that lets everyone from field workers to accounting, initiate, bill, and track work in real time. you can't live under a dome in minnesota, that's why there's guys like me. [ male announcer ] it's a ork of possilities -- helping you do what you do... even better. ♪
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what are you waiting for? for a hot dog cart. my mother said, "well, maybe we ought to buy this hot dog cart and set it up someplace." so my parents went to bank of america. they met with the branch manager and they said, "look, we've got this little hot dog cart, and it's on a really good corner. let's see if we can buy the property." and the branch manager said, "all right, i will take a chance with the two of you." and we've been loyal to bank of america for the last 71 years. michelle, we were talking about rush limbaugh in the greenroom. you told me you had some run-in was the man in his professional capacity. tell me the -- what those have been like because i think it is a really microcosm of not just rush limbaugh being a jerk. limbaugh being a jerk is par for the course but as he acts as this ideological enforcer. >> i will tell you as the former president of the conservative
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independent women's forum i had several dealings with rush limbaugh. i'm having a very hard time sort of understanding the rush that i met in private versus the person that we have been hearing about on the radio over the last week. i will tell you that, you know in all fairness to him, we had -- couple of dinners where we honored, for example, nancy brinker of the susan komen foundation. we honored condoleezza rice who i have great admiration and in both of those instances he actually underwrote those dinners completely. several hundred thousand dollars out of his own pocket so that this was a man who i -- i came to know also in private dinners that i have had with him as being quiet, as being very generous and as someone that -- no one would call an enemy of women. but that being said, there is the -- these times where he comes in as the enforcer and there were times when my capacity as president of independent women's forum i may get a phone call from someone who said rush limbaugh is upset, for example, that -- i can't verify this because i was not in on the conversations but told
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limbaugh was upset or says you can't be trusted because you said something positive about president obama. assuming that to be the case in the kind of job that i had at that period of time, it makes you feel uncomfortable because you feel can you -- is it possible to say how you really feel about an issue? do you have to tow the line because this very person in the conservative movement disagrees with you? i opted to remain true to myself and felt, quite frankly, a lot of other people in washington do, too, if you say the democrat does something wonderful you will say it. if the democrat does something stupid you will say and it same thing with republicans. there are many people that feel pressure to tow the line and say exactly whatever rush limbaugh says is the party line of the day. >> that -- for the phone call the me is remarkable because it -- we all know what he is doing on air. >> i mean -- i have to say i -- i cannot confirm. i can only tell what you i was told which was he says he can't trust you because you said something positive about barack obama. >> he's also gone after you on
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air. on his radio show as well. >> i have been told, i did not hear that. but i have been told that. yes. >> someone else who sort of felt -- who felt the wrath of rush limbaugh, mike castle will be our guest right after this. the world needs more energy. where's it going to come from? ♪ that's why right here, in australia, chevron is building one of the biggest natural gas projects in the world. enough power for a city the size of singapore for 50 years. what's it going to do to the planet? natural gas is the cleanest conventional fuel there is. we've got to be smart about this. it's a smart way to go. ♪ is this where we're at now? we just eat whatever tastes good? like these sweet honey clusters... actually there's a half a day's worth of fiber in every ... why stop at cereal? bring on the pork chops and the hot fudge. fantastic. are you done sweetie? yea [ male announcer ] fiber one. crisp, clear, untouched.
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i want to bring in michael castle, former governor and congressional representative. thank you for being here. thank you so much. >> thank you. good to be with you. >> you were someone who -- the story of 2010 and the sort of tea party insurgency which is one data point, you know, much longer trend of polarization and increasing ideological extremism in the -- republican party and conservative caucus. you were -- one of the kind of most potent examples of that when you were unseated in delaware that most observers before the primary thought wouldn't be very contested.
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what -- just -- generally what do you feel like happened that created the conditions under which you were, in fact, defeated in that primary by christine o'donnell? >> well, will was a tremendous amount of energy among those who were -- her -- allies, if you will, various tea party groups. the tea party express people came in and politically competent and came in and put a lot of money into it. lot of advertising. obviously i wish that we had done more in terms of dealing directly with it. you about we did not think it was going to be that big a threat in the polls to not show that. happened to be that way. people like rush limbaugh and sean hannity and other conservative pundits came strongly on her behalf and as a result, turnout was light, and unfortunately i lost the election unexpectedly to a lot of people. i think just by people on the
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streets in delaware to tell me that. but it happened and -- i think it was warning for everybody and perhaps it helped some of the other candidates, olympia snowe, unfortunately, dropped out but dick lugar and some of the others who are perhaps threatened by this to some degree. they are more prepared for it perhaps as a result of what happened to me and what happened to lisa murkowski in spite of the fact he was able to come back and win the general election as a write-in candidate. >> that's the question i had for you. what messages -- what was the takeaway of what happened to you in 2010? there -- i think moving sharply to the right because they are looking over their shoulder and lisa murkowski and mike cass zbl my concern, frankly, is that we are losing the -- center part of politics in america today.
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in the -- very people that -- who have been mentioned in this last minute or two are individuals who are willing to talk to both sides, willing to compromise in order to get something done for the good of the country weren't just worried about the ideological aspects of what was happening or necessarily looking behind their backs at all times. but we are willing to sit down and i think be good members of the house and senate. that's diminishing. in two ways. diminishing by the fact that -- lot of the individuals are choosing not to run. that's olympia snowe, for examp example. others like myself and others defeated and then many others who are starting to vote in a much more ideological way, very conservative way in the case of republicans. as a result, you are losing that you a built to sit down and work out the differences and make sure that we are progressing the way we need to. with respect to the -- issues of the economy and jobs and the -- edge caution and those things which are basic concern to
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try swiffer sweeper vac. hello from new york. i'm chris hayes. congressman steve cohen, mitche mitchell bernard, center for women, politics and public policy. goldie taylor, author of "how america lost its political grace." john mcwhorter columbia university professor of linguistic and american studies and contributing editor at "new republic." there is the kinds of people you said that would be willing to kind of be more less ideological and have left congress or have
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been -- beaten or sort of changed their voting behavior. you hear this a lot. there are two things i want to respond to. myself i'm an ideolog. i have sympathy. but -- i remember when the eyid, they are they were saying the war was bad idea and the others saying we should go ahead and do it. the republican party is becoming much more homogeneous -- i can't come up with the word -- is -- yes. homogeneously -- becoming much more homogeneously conservative at a much faster rate than the democrats are becoming hodge ominously progressive. we have some data on this. political i don't know 'tis runs on dw nominate. you see the top two lines, republicans skewing away in the last 20 years, quite radically, right, from the center. do you feel that? do you see that asymmetry between what's happening on the
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conservative side and republican side and what's happening on the democratic side? >> you know, i happen to believe that there are those that will say it is -- you know, happening -- in both parties. i don't think it is really the case. i believe that the republicans have -- have suffered more in this. i think you see mitt the presidential primaries to a degree also. in part of it is the success of that movement. you know, there is a -- media support level for all of this. there is a very strong conservative base. tea party groups have succeeded. sometimes in knocking out people in primaries and sometimes in -- knocking them out and getting their candidates advanced and getting candidates elected. so i think you see it very strongly in the republican party. i think it is a lot of the -- split now in the presidential primaries. romney is viewed as not as conservative as the others, for exam. >> many no question if the party bosses we talked about earlier were more involved in selections might castle would have been the nominee and he would be the
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senator. and -- probably -- harry reid would not have won in nevada. i'm happy as a democrat we have would seats. mike, i'm sorry but i am a democrat. for the republicans they have two people and don't have those. at the time i have been in the house i have seen english lose, people who could vote a different way. you could only -- x amount of people that you see that whatever vote opposite the party line and those jimmy duncan occasionally on some issues and ron paul always marches to his own drum. but -- there's just the moderate. democratic side, blue dogs disappeared since i have been here. >> but -- wane go back to what you said. this seems a fundment am point to you. you said if the party bosses more in control, taking the seat. so much of the conversation about polarization seems to me to -- end up in this somewhat elitist place that says the problem is the -- they are having too much effect on the political process and the party bosses aren't controlling things enough. that strikes me as the anti-democratic. >> i wouldn't say rabble.
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the more -- the extremists, and you can't -- we have to win and come to the center. president obama knows that. the republican party leaders know that. the activists don't. they are looking at the word more, not looking at the picture winning the white house. so -- what you could have in tamp is just a -- you know, bunch of folks walking off of a peer into the gu pier in new mexico. >> when i was a lad, i seem to remember in the '70s, 1975, people sitting around in leisure suits and people consider themselves goods liberals saying that there was a serious drift among the considerable segment of the democrats. too far to the left and there was a problem and that something needed to be done about these extremes taking over those democrats who weren't part of the old southern wing of it we won't talk about. that changed. how is it different now with republicans? am i being a little too pollyannaish where the
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republicans can be at pint in ten years will change just like did for the democrats about things people were complaining about while having none due parties, et cetera, in '75 and '76. what's the difference? >> well, i -- i'm not sure i totally understand it all. if i did perhaps i would be in the senate right now. but i -- i would just -- say this. i -- i think that the republicans probably have learn ad few lessons, you know, in -- in terms of not just my defeat but as i said, lisa murkowski's primary defeat and other circumstances. you see people dropping out and i'm not sure why olympia dropped out. i happen to believe her that it is because of the -- frustration not being able to get things done in the senate today. but i mean, there is a person who -- who would be in the middle. so that's a problem. until the republicans realize, hey, we cannot just win and control, for example, the united states senate with all conservatives, the republican party will have a problem. there has to be -- a greater
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belief that we have -- elect republicans, may not be quite like what we want ideologically but fit the mode of voting for republicans. like steve said, he is a democrat and i understand that. i'm a republican. i look at the senate circumstances now and maine will be very difficult for republicans to hold. now you have -- bob kerrey coming back in nebraska. as a result, there is a lot of talk about republicans taking over the senate. now it is going to be a lot higher mountain to climb than it was before this week. in -- so -- as a result, you know, you are getting some losses that way. and -- there are seat throughout the country and no -- massachusetts senate race is one of them. and a few others in which you are not going to elect a pure conservative republican. but that republican -- if he or she selected in a more moderate leaning district, if you will, is going to help the party with
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procedural votes or whatever it may be. there needs to be an understanding, you are going to have to have a blend if you are going to be a majority party. if you just want to have your -- ideological beliefs, fine. you can keep on supporting the absolute most conservative candidate, have them get nominated and many instances defeated. >> mr. castle -- >> i think the party needs -- >> mr. castle, this is goldie taylor. i have to ask you -- looking back, you know, when i was a lad in '75, wasn't this just holy, holy predictable that, you know, with the -- new southern strategy that came around and then the contract with on america, whatever party you think it belonged to, you know, wasn't this sort of predictable this -- ideological divide is exacerbated by a president that happened to be of color? you know, sort of pulling the -- the -- sheets off of everything. you know -- i didn't mean it that way. >> no pun intended. >> but -- wasn't this holy
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predictable? where does it leave us when there is no room in our congress for a -- olympia snowe or sam nunn democrat or sort of -- when the middle was ripped out, you know, is there room for change, incremental or otherwise, to move this country forward? i mean, doesn't the -- nation lie in the middle? the strength of the nation lie in the middle? >> i think it does. i'm not sure it was pribable, it was a movement happening and going in that direction. on the other hand, the -- the politics of two years ago where the -- organization of the various tea party-type groups, if you will, money that was poured into that, made a big difference. i think the super pacs, which i did not support in any way, are making a big difference at will in both parties, as a matter of fact. as far as the future of politics is concerned and unless the supreme court does something else to -- citizens united case. so -- it is being played to --
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by -- what we are doing now, cable television to a degree. you know, the -- as i said, the rush limbaughs and sean hannitys of the world that take strong political viewpoints in their pronouncements. it is beyond just reporting of news. it is -- it is try dent politics that is going on there. that's making a difference, too. that was sort of -- i mean, coming but sort of unseen to a degree. and -- it is -- it is there, it has worked, as i said, it worked not just in those who are no longer in service in the congress of the united states but in how they are voting to some degree. you have got to follow the party line. if you don't, you are going to get castigated. people are taking any particular vote, as steve knows, anyone in congress knows, and they are finding downside of and it saying that -- this member of congress voted for or against something that they shouldn't have even if it was basically a deese enpiece of legislation.
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maybe it spent too much money or something of that nature. they are going to go after it. people are becoming extremely defensive in terms of how they are voting and worried about getting to far away from their party following and particularly gets through the republican party, somewhat true of the democratic party, too. just a problem. so people can't sit down and say let's work out a compromise, say, on -- education, for example, no child left behind, problematic right now. many people believe. can we do something to replace that? you know. and that's not yet been worked out. and yet it should. can we do something about the cost of social security and -- medicare? can we do something about tax reform? these are basic issues that are going to have to take the -- sitting down and working on them together and it is going to take republicans and democrats to do it. a president who is willing to work with them. that's -- simply not happening right now. it is -- frustrating, i think, to the average american.
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>> one issue i would add to that is climate change which i think is the most important and most requires some kind of bipartisan consensus because it represents a massive challenge and requires such a reorientation of sort of our policy. that's something that you are definitely attacked for in the primary. michael castle, former republican governor and congressman from delaware, thanks so much for your time this morning. >> thank you very much. all right. did redistricting kill bipartisanship in congress? we will talk about it. [ male announcer ] this is lawn ranger -- eden prairie, minnesota. in here, the landscaping business grows with snow. to keep big winter jobs on track, at&t provided a mobile solution that lets everyone from field workers to accounting, initiate, bill, and track work in real time. you can't live under a dome in minnesota, that's why there's guys like me. [ male announcer ] it's a network of possibilities -- helping you do what you do... even better. ♪
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♪ all right. we are talking about polarization. i wanted to just -- sort of get something off my chest. we had this conversation about polarization. there is a certain track that it goes on. right? which is -- oh, this is such a
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bummer that the -- the american people are polarized and people in congress who can talk to each other like mike castle are gone. we are missing the center. there are a few things that are important to keep in mind. the bipartisanship of the bygone era was largely a relic of the bizarre anomaly of politics, democrats in the south. there was a -- contingency of democrats in the south who were essentially conservatives but also democrats and that was because white southerners hated abraham lincoln important the fact he raged a civil war and freed the slaves and permeated throughout much of the 20th century and only in the last 20 years has the ideological realignment happened underlying the whole time. right. realignment happened. that was always there. it was just that -- through happ happ happenstance. second thing is parliamentary politics are not bad. the problem is we have a mismatch between increasing parliamentary behavior of congress votes in party blocks
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and structure of the country which is not set up in parliamentary system. it is set up through the house and senate and the system of checks and balances to essentially frustrate the will of the majority in all kinds of ways. all sorts of anti-majority institutions in place. we feel like the system is dysfunctional because there is a mismatch between the party behavior parliamentary in nature and institutional setup which is now that. finally, let me say this about bipartisanship. this is important. bipartisan bills, what are the big bipartisan bills of the last decade? t.a.r.p. bailout and iraq war vote? right? the afghan station adventure which exists ten years later and no signs of stopping. exactly ten years which voted with one i did accepteding vote in the entire house. yes. bipartisanship is possible. when you point to what are the big benefits of bipartisanship two wars and bailouts. >> look back, though -- >> all right. >> go back -- >> bring it on.
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>> month child left behind which i -- >> there is no child left behind now. >> i know, i know. i think -- if you -- if you live in are a low-income area and your child is stuck in an underperforming school finally there is a national debate about education. even going back before that, nafta, very important piece of bipartisan legislation. i like nafta and i believe in free trade. i see the smirk on your face. i know you feel nauseous. >> not nauseous. i just disagree. >> bipartisanship very, very important piece of legislation. >> that was in the '90s. >> i said -- i said let's go back. >> another ten years. >> oh, i don't know. >> you see a lot bipartisanship or you should in committees and not seeing that now. work product that comes out of committees and the house and goes to the floor can be bipartisan and -- transportation bill was always bipartisan. this year extremely partisan. no democrat in the house voted for the transportation bill and -- but dead on arrival and will go with the senate bill. house bill was too far out.
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you had the -- tea party people that spent too much money and -- the -- some of them were against the bill when it came out. they wouldn't accept any democratic alternatives and mass transit and it was an ideolog fight. you see that in the committees all the time. >> a committee process in which -- there was a bipartisanship that wasn't the kind of bipartisanship i'm talking about. day-to-day of working together relationship. >> ranking member and the chairman would work together to bring about a bill and each member would work through the ranking member or through their chairman to get their legislation into it and you get a bill that everybody that supports particularly in transportation that happen -- didn't happen, didn't happen here. you are blaming the democrats with the dixiekrcrats. how about -- what happened to the scrantons and percys and rockefellers and the -- romneys of the 1960s? those moderate republicans don't exist either. >> absolutely.
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>> it was -- >> do exist they are in the closet. they can't exist. >> let's press on this regional aspect to it. that's a big part of it and that there is no doubt that polarization is part of the current political climate and many people believe one of the crucial drivers is congressional gerrymandering which, of course, when they draw the districts to avoid people vote against their party. here is a senator make thing point in 2006. >> too many districts today, people's vote probably won't make a difference. i know that's sacrilege to say but as a consequence of the gerrymandering of congressional districts, people aren't being illogical when they say at home because the outcome is a foregone conclusion. >> that's, of course, now president barack obama talking about this gerrymandering and the way that -- in the midst of a redistricting right now.
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it is a very fraught thing, lawsuit that -- that the department of justice has contested redistricting plan that -- texas proposed as violated the voting rights act. you are in what we could call, i think, safe district in terms of -- >> i think so. i have a man that spent $9 million to lose to me. >> really? i like that trash talk by the way. love it. let's bring it. >> $a 5 million to try to beat me. he can bring $10 million. bring it on. >> i love it. but tell me -- congressman, tell me -- do you agree with the underlying -- underlying premise there about the way in which gerrymandering produces -- you hear a lot of this in the house. people in the house are not in contested districts. my own personal experience, i lived on the west side of chicago, i now live in park slope. i have never lived in a contested congressional district in my life. >> definitely part of it. in the states, too.
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the idea that the politicians make up the playing field for them to play in is wrong. there should be some independent group that makes up the -- the boundaries and in the game -- parameters. some states have commissions. california has it. so for the first time ever, you see contested primaries, contested elections in california, and it is going to put a howard berman and other things like that, people retiring. california districts are going to be more representative and it is going to be -- elections will be decided in november. right now most elections are determined in the primaries and so you play to your base. that's when you win. and you don't play to the center at all. in a state legislative seats, tennessee has gone totally republican. the districts were drawn to where the republicans had the districts. so that's -- it happens. it does not make them a better people. john tanner had a bill a blue dog, a great blue dog. and it said that every state -- i have taken up the bill. he had it.
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left, too, because he felt like he was too far. but the bill needs to pass to say that each state's redistricting should be -- commission. and nonpartisan commission may be named by the governor from each party or something like that. >> let me just say -- insert that the political scientists have been -- literature now around gerrymandering and parts of polarization and inclusive. unclear that that is really driving it. we still have steve king coming out of iowa. it is not -- not necessarily a silver bullet. >> i think the congressman is right about this. i have been in the georgia state house grappling with maps and there is one goal and one goal only to consolidate power and get a map that would back the contest. >> particularly in -- state of georgia. >> ironically enough, newt gingrich was a father and republican party in georgia and the late paul coverdale who ushered, you know, this change in maps that allow many more republicans in the state to be elected. one democratic congressman, david scott, whose district
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snakes around the bottom of atlanta this way that collects as many african-american voters as possible so that he can be in a state district while, you know, handing over seven or eight other district. >> you point out something i think is crucial that you, congressman -- you are in a unique position to tell us about which is -- there was for a while -- particularly starting in the '80ss and '90s, this kind of coincidence of interests because -- if you can load a lot of african-american democrat voters and obviously african-american legislators like and they have every right to, of course, then you also are getting -- consolidating republican power. >> what's happened is why didn't -- disappear prosecuting the table across the south and the people who are negotiating are black democrats and white republicans. and that's where the -- >> happened in my community. they tack a part of may district out. and part of it, i think, is to get rid of the democratic party as white democrats and in
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memphis, tennessee, make it black and white and whites reason they could vote republican. it goes to base. romney -- have to do it -- will do it. but the -- it is just -- you shouldn't have that. there was an article in the nation, gary berman wrote it. the republicans said what their project was in doing this was operation -- reproduction. what an awful thing for them to say. that was their program to get rid of white democrats here a great quote. mansfield saying we are having the same kvrpgs we had 40 years ago, black people and only represent black people and white people can only represent white people. i would hope in 2012 we could do better than that. racial gerrymandering right after this break. [ shapiro ] at legalzoom, you can take care of virtually
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another way for politicians to choose the people who vote for them is by suppressing votes through legislation like voter i.d. laws. right now i want to bring in the reverend al sharpton, host of msnbc's "politics nation" and founder of the national action network. he and the organization are leading a march beginning today from selma to montgomery in support of voter rights. how are you doing? >> good morning. how are you doing, chris? >> doing good. i like that tie. we have been talking about the ways in which racialized gerrymandering is also part of the equation you look at essentially working to dilute or -- concentrate in ways and then dilute the voting power of african-americans in the south. >> no doubt about it. not only in the south. it is in the north as well. you must remember in '65 voting rights act, it also included new york. before i left new york yesterday, we were dealing with
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questions of the redistricting, what will happen to the harlem district, for example. this has been a national problem. when you combine that as you said the voter i.d. laws we are marching about today and all of this week, it is a real critical point in where we are dealing with how will the concentrated black vote demonstrate itself both locally with congressional fights and then nationally, where you are going to have a disproportionate amount disqualified from voting if they don't have the proper state i.d. or if they were depending on long-term early voting which has now been shortened in some states, ending sunday voting. so that's why we are marching this week because this is the first time in 47 years since the voting rights act that we have seen such a serious affront on the rights of blacks to vote and in many ways try to come up with a solution to a problem that doesn't exist when that is when
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they try to say they are doing this for voter fraud. >> reverend sharpton, i have to ask you a question. i'm so glad i can actually post this question to you directly. i understand the problem with voter i.d. i have written against these efforts to disenfranchise black voters. here's one solution that i would use if somebody put this power in my hands. why can't we get the word out in the blackmunty to get the pro r proper -- black community out? so people can't pull it. isn't there room for that being as important as contesting -- >> well, i think -- i think, john, you took my speech from me today. we have to have -- two-lane strategy. two lanes are one, we must fight where we can. but at the same time, urban league, all of us are going to do, have a "b" strategy to make sure churches and others, black
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radio, mobilize to put idea in people's heads. including where we have to raise the money and invite them through the churches. i don't think it is either/or. it is and. we are highlighting the problem was the march. solve it but at the same time not concede it. it can't be where we are doing -- where we are going to fall under the sword and say you are going to stop the laws or we are not voting. we are going to do both. i'm going to tell them that you told me to do it, john. >> john mcwhorter told me this morning on cable -- michelle bernard. >> reverend sharpton, michelle bernard. quick comment i wanted to throw out there because i find it interesting. i was speaking with william harvey, the president of hampton university which historically a black college university. we were talking about this issue. and what he said to me was well, what's the big deal? go out and get an i.d. i wanted to throw that out there as you were working with black voters to make sure people get registered to vote make sure you hit up the historically black colleges and universities
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throughout the country. but my question that i wanted to pose to you as well is when we think about the -- atrocity that we see happening now with voter suppression, african-american voters across the country, it leads me back to the question of -- which is -- do we as african-americans do ourself as disservice by overwhelmingly self-identifying as democrats rather than -- rather than deciding that we should either register to vote as republicans or self-identify as independents so that both the republican and the democratic party have incentive to go out and prove that they -- they have the best interests of african-americans at heart and give us a reason to vote for them. >> well, i think -- i think that -- let me deal with your first question first. i think, as i said to john, we must do both. my daughter p went to hampton. the issue of should we register wholly as democrat or republican or independent, we ought to register in wherever our
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interests are going to be served. the problem that with republicans to me is not that we should all be democrats or republicans. the problems are that republicans must lay out some political advantages for african-americans, just as they appeal to latinos or women or any other group. if you remember in 2004 when i addressed the democratic congress vens i said we will ride this donkey as far as lit take us. if the donkey won't take us and the elephant will, let's take it there. i'm not going to take the elephant if it is going to sit on me and not bring me anywhere. jackie fletcher, jackie robinson, nelson rockefeller, or of -- of -- others like -- that we have seen like jack kemp. so if this party is a party of calling people food stamp presidents and all, there is no wonder people are not going to go there. or they are anti-immigrant, then why would the latino community go there? they must talk our interests. they should not just say that
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you ought to have an alternative if those alternatives is not alternative interests based. just alternative party based. >> reverend al sharpton, thank you so much for taking time and let you get back to putting finishing touch owes the march down there. host of politics nation on msnbc. >> i thank you, chris. >> take care. we will be right back to talk more about votes in the south and race. ] we invented the turbine business right here in schenectady. without the stuff that we make here, you wouldn't be able to walk in your house and flip on your lights. [ brad ] at ge we build turbines that power the world. they go into power plants which take some form of energy, harness it, and turn it into more efficient electricity. [ ron ] when i was a kid i wanted to work with my hands, that was my thing. i really enjoy building turbines. it's nice to know that what you're building is gonna do something for the world. when people think of ge, they typically don't think about beer. a lot of people may not realize that the power needed to keep their budweiser cold and even to make their beer comes from turbines made right here. wait, so you guys make the beer? no, we make the power that makes the beer.
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but -- you know, that -- the quote from olympia snowe was interesting to me because i remember during the health care debate -- when the affordable care was getting -- congressman, you were in the house during that time. >> great day. >> during that whole process, i remember thinking to myself what i would give to be olympia snowe. when she is talking about how you -- olympia snowe could have gone to the white house and just written out a list of demands and said you will get my vote if you do the following. there was month one else in america at that period of time with more power and more control over the affordable care act than olympia snowe. for her to turn behind and say you can't get anything done and complain, just seems so disingenuous. if anyone in congress has power, right, with democratic president and democratic house and -- democratic senate short on filibuster clearing vote by essentially your vote, then it is you. >> senator collins had a lot of influence on that, too. >> i think it is fascinating. one of the things thai keep wonder sing if -- you look --
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month poll you can look at where you don't see that approval ratings for congress are dismally low. and when you look at the polls, one of the things you have to keep asking yourself is the -- with the exception of you, of course -- why do they keep getting re-elected? i mean, that's -- that's really the irony of this. i look at what's happening -- has happened with olympia snowe. and on behalf of the american people, you really have to mourn the fact that there is no room for someone like olympia snowe in the u.s. congress. >> also the fact -- will replace -- go ahead. >> i'm not for bipartisanship for bipartisanship sake. >> that's a really good point. >> bad, stupid ideas. i think i'm more in -- mourning the death of reason. sort of these big polarized divides that don't let the truth and reason just win out. whatever happened to good old fashioned common sense? birth control is preventative health. why are we voting on, you
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know -- someone told me about the aspirin between the knees wine have five kids. the truth -- the truth is issues like that come up because you reason -- has -- walking itself to the graveyard. >> i guess that's -- so glad you said that point. to me i think -- i just don't trust the fact that the process of sort of centrist based kind of horse trading produces reason more reliably than the contentious rigor. >> i'm not a centrist, not a weak moderate. i'm ainge are inindependent which says i'm going to take the best thing that i see the that works for me and my community and my neighborhood and my state that raises quality of life for us. i think that's very different from being this kind of wishy-washy tow the line. i'm voting on issues, not voting on people. i'm not voting on party. >> so elusive. i think that part of what democracy is about is something very unpretty and unfrustrating. especially the people who consider themselves educated which is that people see reason
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as completely different things. it is very difficult for people of all levels of intelligence and education to be brought to reason such that maybe something that we can all possibly call reason. something that comes forth maybe every 30 or 60 years and we think of the new deal and think of the great society. but most of the time what we are going to see is -- partisan kind of mess. it is frustrating but i'm not sure what other moderate governance we have. >> i think that -- final point i want to make on this is that the -- the -- we are trying to -- i think the national conversation does tend to be histrionic and polarized and caught up in -- but the other fact is that -- politics is about conflict. fundamentally about con applicant and will never stop being about con applicant and always a wish that comes in from people that are so sort of bummed out by the conflicted nature of politics. that's what politics is. you know what, for hundreds of thousands of years, human beings killed each other in the streets over the fact they have
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i will tell you what you should know for the news week ahead. >> i know you have been trying to make sense of the gop delegate map this morning. so am i. nerd land all over this map today. so i am going to tell a story with jelly beans. i have literally been counting thousands of jelly beans. republican arithmetic style, i also went to chicago earlier this week and i'm going to bring back a little lunch from president obama's neighborhood. and very, very excited. cory booker will join us at the table this means witness theler undoubtedly go berserk. >> yes. that's all coming up on "melissa
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harris-perry." >> we will find out friday how many the jobs the economy added in february. a week later than its usual release. in order to get back to full employment the economy needs to add an estimated 440,000 jobs per month the next three years. you should know in just under an hour from now the president will be addressing the aipac conference. the possible bill after preemptive israeli attack on iran. you should know in an interview this week the president said it is, quote, unacceptable for iran to have a nuclear weapon. should also know the remains -- remains no definitive evidence iran is building a nuclear weapon. you should know remain a significant torre for proliferation treaty which israel is not a cigsignatory to. t melissa harris-perry will be carrying some of the speech live. stick around for both of those. over the next week a lot of time devoted to our relationship to
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israel and what impacts it has abroad and politics at home. you should know the florida restaurant and lodging association is pushing a bill that would slash minimum wage of waiters and other tipped employees in half from $4.65 an hour to just $2.13 an hour. you should know the florida department of economic opportunity estimate it is income for full-sich serveners the state is just over $18,000 so you should know it is not exactly like the state servers are raking in the dough. you should know one of restaurants supporting the move is outback steakhouse and you should know the owner of outback steakhouse is an investor group including none other than, drum roll, bain capital. you should know lower wages for workers likely mean more money in the pockets of the execs. the house of representatives of will not be voting on a highway bill next week. the bill is usually a relatively bipartisan piece of legislation. the result of a fair amount of horse trading. it has been turned, as everything has, into a partisan -- this year as the house proposed among other things provision approving the
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keystone excel pipeline. you should know ray lahood who used to serve in the house called the gop version of the bill the most partisan ever and the worst bill in decades. you should know that pat forward for a full five-year re-authorization of legislation that pays for roads and transportation infrastructure is sucked down into the void of republican destruction. total of 224 delegates at stake on tuesday. the tally is up to remain remarkably maddeningly opaque and as many states have not yet had the conventions necessary to award delegates. rules guiding the process are written by republicans in individual states and you should know many republican bigwigs have come to the conclusion the new rules are unmitigated disaster. you should know tuesday is going to be a long night for campaigns, journalists covering the campaigns and politicalupies watching until the polls close. that's because alaska, polls don't close until 12:00 midnight east coast time. you should know for those junkies alaska politics nerds, i
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will be hosting special late night coverage of the super tuesday results right here on msnbc. tune in. my guests will come back and tell us what they think we should know this week right after this. mid grade dark roast forest fresh full tank brain freeze cake donettes rolling hot dogs bag of ice anti-freeze wash and dry diesel self-serve fix a flat jumper cables 5% cashback right now, get 5% cashback at gas stations. it pays to discover.
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♪ i like this. all right. our guests are back to tell us what we should know as the news unfolds. i'll begin with congressman steve cohen from memphis, tennessee. you actually summarized what was a major issue. but apac will coming to washington and the president will address the group. prime minister netanyahu will be there too. it will be focused on iran and israel. it conjures up gas prices and the keystone excel. it's false for people to think or listen to any hooey that the
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failure to passkey stone excel has anything to do with the rise in gas prices or that steve cohen can control it. we can control it as much as chris hayes or rush limbaugh. oil speculators, we should put a limit what they can do. another thing, as people prepare their taxes, there have been scams and tax programs around the nation. the irs will help you prepare krur taxes for free. you don't have to hire somebody who may not guff you your tax refund. go to the irs. >> that's service there right there. go to the irs. michelle bernard, what should folks now? >> march is international women's month, women's history month. it's a very important month. going into the next couple of weeks, people should remember that women matter. the women's vote matters. to look for something interesting in the footsteps of sojourn of truth and harriet tubman and the bernard center
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for public policy. they'll be doing something big talking about women and education reform throughout march. >> we'll do what we have not done, on o education reform. i put that in quotes because the term reform is contested. who else calls himself a reformer. >> i get to do that. >> i have some -- i won't share them. goldie taylor, what should we know? >> barack obama is not more conservative than bill clinton. i think from the outset of the clinton administration when he came in and abandon middle class tax cuts, economic stimulus, the reworking of welfare. that put him to the right of barack obama. that's why thisment will consolidate and win this all. barack obama is in a very position for reelection. >> i was on -- it's very hard to figure out how you score ideology over time. there's actually a metric called dw nominate.
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which is the metric used in the chart we had. it's harder on presidents. presidents don't take votes. it's based on congressional votes you're doing all the time. it's a much harder scoring process. >> puts more african-american men in jail than -- >> john mcwhorter. >> robert care owe's theory of lyndon johnson is about to finish up. as odd as it may be to bring that up on this show, that book, that series is a must-read for all-americans. i'm bringing it up in the impending departure of olympia snowe. it's about 1800 pages total. >> it's a long series. but it will show you that stasis in congress is a norm in the united states and when things move further and you get the beautiful music, that is something unusual. we can't expect it all the time. think about the book, read it and get a sense of what america
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unfortunately is about. >> the three volume biography. >> four now. >> i guess i've gone through three. i have one more to go. i want to thank my guests. steve cohen from tennessee. michelle bernard. goldie taylor, author of a book, an uncivil war and columbia professor john mcwhorter. thank you all, and thank you for joining us. we'll be back next week answered saturday and sunday. mike daisy will be with us, we'll look at president obama's meeting with prime minister netanyahu and america's relationship with israel. you can get more info checking online at up .msnbc.com. up next is melissa harris-perry. we'll see you here next week on "up."
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